Sunday, July 6, 2008


i posted this as an homage to what is possibly the most influential tv show for the women of this generation. it was a tv show that changed how we talked about sex, how we viewed our friendships, and how we deal with our never ending quest of that one guy who will love us and we will love in return. while sex and the city at times was viewed as certainly hedonistic and all gloss it was interesting that in all of that there is wisdom that can be applied to our realities.

10 Love Lessons From 'Sex and the City'

By Valerie Reiss Beliefnet Updated: Jun 6, 2008

Through my late 20s I was with the girls all the way, even though I often thought their romantic choices were misguided, obviously wrong, spiritually and psychologically clueless, superficial, selfish, and jaded. Pretty much like most of my own.
But in a city where love can be as elusive as affordable housing, "Sex and the City" gave so many of us perspective, validation, and reminders of the core lessons of love -- sometimes in spite of itself, sometimes in the scripts. With the ladies hitting the big screen, here's a bit of what I've learned, or remembered, about love thanks to Carrie and Co.

1. Single is Not a Dirty Word
The SATC gals transformed "single"--"spinster"'s more evolved cousin--from being a hole to a presence; they made singledom cool. Even when it hurt.
One of my favorite moments is when Carrie's silver Manolos get swiped from a smug-married's apartment and the friend refuses to reimburse her. She lectures Carrie about spending too much on shoes and not enough on family, playing right in to her singleton's shame.
This, after Carrie has bought engagement, wedding, shower, and baby gifts for her. In a genius move, Carrie registers herself at Manolo Blahnik just for those shoes, single "bride" that she is, forcing the friend to pay up. To me this said the single life is just as valid as the married. We deserve as many gifts and even blessings from our friends and society, regardless of what others might think of our struggles and choices.

2. It's Okay to Expose All to Your Girlfriends
Women talked about sex with their friends long before SATC. But the show gave us permission on a large scale to get graphic and detailed in cathartic and hilarious ways. It was like a six-season long Consciousness Raising group with better outfits.

3. Fate is Not Always Fate
It's so tempting to interpret the tea leaves of love, to decide that fate is (finally) working in our favor. When Trey saved Charlotte from being mowed down by a speeding taxi, she decided it was fate. Not just that he was a nice guy who saved her life, but that he must be the guy to live out her "marry tale" with.
Turns out--not so much, and I think after that divorce, Char developed a very different notion of fate, i.e.-we don't know how the universe works and just because it seems like synchronicity, it doesn't mean you have to marry the dude. A lesson better remembered than re-experienced.

4. Sometimes to Be Real You Have to Get Ugly
When Charlotte first met her handsomely chiseled divorce lawyer, she kept to the prim, nice decorum that defined her. When she realized she needed to be fierce --and ugly-- to battle her Bunny-in-law, she dropped him for sweaty, obnoxious, bald Harry Goldenblatt and then felt free to be as nasty as she wanted to be, fangs and all. Turns out he found her "incredibly sexy" anyway. And once she was able to shatter her preppy, WASPy notion of her ideal man, voila, there he was, right in front of her.

5. Be Vulnerable
More than anyone else on the show, Samantha and her mien of steel taught us that true strength is in opening and trust. She started to get this from her girl-flame Maria ("I've got monogomy, I think I caught it from you people") but mostly from her hot-hot boyfriend Smith Jarrod.
First, he forced on her his "perverse" desire to hold hands, and then, most touchingly, shaved off his golden locks when she lost hers to chemo. We all have an inner Samantha--the part that feigns bravado in the face of pain and trusts no one. Watching her set down her insecurity-as-sword reminded all us tough girls to do the same.

6. There's a Difference Between Childlike and Childish
In perhaps my favorite episode, a guy named Wade had a comic book store, a great record collection, and a scooter. Carrie was justifiably wooed when he drew a cartoon of her telling her to call him. And the girl needed some fun! Mr. Big? Sexy, complicated, but no bag of jacks.
With Wade, she played video games, took a spin on the scooter, got stoned on the balcony of his surprisingly vast Park Avenue apartment. Turned out the guy was living with his parents. And not only that, he lied to his mom that they were smoking Carrie's pot. Lesson? If he seems like a kid, investigate to make sure he's also an adult.

7. Know When to Kiss Goodbye
Miranda asked a date up to her apartment. He declined, claiming to have "an early meeting." Later, she asked Carrie's man of the hour for insight. Berger said, "He's just not that into you," and "When a guy's really into you, he's coming upstairs, meeting or no meeting."
Miranda is instantly liberated, giddy with the blame-free simplicity of it. Of course in real life, sadly, it's not always so simple. But through this and countless other moments, the show taught us that letting go is never easy--even when he's "not into you"--but that if you don't walk away when you know you should, only misery, over-analysis, and disappointment awaits.

8. Don't Mistake Scraps for Jewels
"It was the single most encouraging moment in our relationship." Was Carrie talking about Big sharing his heart with her? Giving her a thoughtful present? Nope. She said this when he gave her the "only" extra pink toothbrush head one night.
Sure, it was the only baby step toward accepting her into his life that he was capable of. But all of us need to love ourselves enough not to mistake glitter for diamonds, scraps for a meal--exactly what that toothbrush head was.

9. Read the Signs
When Carrie got engaged to Aidan, she promptly strung the gorgeous Harry Winston ring around her neck instead of putting it on her finger. Score one for costume designer Patricia Field for the fresh accessory, minus one very big one for the happy future of Carrie and Aidan. Both continued to ignore the signs of doom--like so many of us do--in exchange for hope.
It was a reminder to all of us not to ignore those persistent yet subtle doubts, accumulating red flags--and full-blown panic attacks--no matter how much we want something to work out.

10. Patience and Compromise
Sure, the show was often about taking, and Goddess knows the characters' self-absorption grated horribly sometimes. But as the ladies matured, we saw more and more examples of selfless compromise.
Miranda agreed to have her son Brady baptized even though it conflicted strongly with her beliefs; Charlotte converted to Judaism to be with Harry; and most hilariously, Harry put on underwear to sit on Charlotte's pristine white sofa. As for patience, the girls had a giant Birkin bag full of it for each other. And Carrie, in spite of herself had it big-time with Big.

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